Monday, December 07, 2009

U.S. isn't going anywhere;
Welcome to President McCain's 100 year war!



Just in case anyone was confused about what Obama meant in his Afghanistan speech, assorted poobahs went on TV today to to set the citizenry straight; their message amounted to: "don't go taking the President at his word about that 2011 withdrawal date; it's just talk."

The Obama administration sent a forceful public message Sunday that American military forces could remain in Afghanistan for a long time, seeking to blunt criticism that President Obama had sent the wrong signal in his war-strategy speech last week by projecting July 2011 as the start of a withdrawal.

In a flurry of coordinated television interviews, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other top administration officials said that any troop pullout beginning in July 2011 would be slow and that the Americans would only then be starting to transfer security responsibilities to Afghan forces under Mr. Obama’s new plan.

New York Times, December 6, 2009

Wouldn't want mere citizens to think the generals' excellent Afghan adventure might end anytime soon -- or perhaps ever.

If we're stuck with this quagmire for the next couple of decades, we better get used to what it costs. Here's a summary from Travis Sharp of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
In 2010 alone, U.S. military spending on Afghanistan will equal nearly one-half of total spending on the war since 2001.

The United States will spend 92 percent more on military operations in Afghanistan during 2010 than it did during 2009.

In 2010, the troop increase in Afghanistan will cost each individual American taxpayer $195 dollars. (IRS)

In 2010, the troop increase in Afghanistan will cost $2.5 billion per month, $82 million per day, $3.4 million per hour, $57,000 per minute, and $951 per second.

In the time it takes you to read this post, the troop increase in Afghanistan will have cost $85,500.
The figure for total U.S. current military spending in 2010 is around $700 billion. Remind you of anything? -- oh yeah, it is roughly the size of the stimulus package that Congress grudgingly passed in January, the only thing that is keeping nearly 650,000 people in jobs who would otherwise be looking for non-existent work. (USAToday, 11/18/2009)

And how about that "expensive" health care reform we're supposed to be so worried about? It is projected to cost $900 billion over 10 years (and to be fully funded by savings achieved by its provisions.) With inflation, over the same ten years, the military budget will cost something like ten times the amount we might have to spend on health care - and those military costs will have to come directly out of our pockets in taxes.

Something is wrong here. I certainly didn't hear the President articulate any reason to keep throwing the wealth created by our labor down a rat hole for the rest of our lives, yet apparently that that is what our poobahs project. There have to be cheaper ways to work for security -- perhaps by removing the occupying troops that serve as provocations for terrorism.

We can't afford our Cadillac military establishment or its endless brushfire wars.

3 comments:

Tina said...

Do you think that people protesting in the streets could change this warring policy? If yes, do you think it will be difficult to move people to protest? if yes, why?

Darlene said...

Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex. Our president's never learn.

janinsanfran said...

Tina: some people will protest in the streets. Not huge numbers. Many Congresspeople will wish a lot that this war would go away, for both good reasons and bad. A peace movement will try to make the 2011 date real. If the war becomes (more of) a political liability to Democrats, we'll get at least some drawdown. This is possible.

And gradually, the American people will notice we can't afford empire.

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